By Adrian Bailey
It has been announced this week that the relationship between China and Venezuela is being greatly upgraded. On 13 September China’s President Xi Jinping and Venezuelan President Maduro held talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and announced that China-Venezuela relations are being elevated to an ‘all weather strategic partnership’.
This upgrading of the China-Venezuela relationship to an ‘all weather strategic partnership’ places Venezuela among the very highest relations that China holds with any other country. To understand the significance of this designation it should be noted that China’s highest level relations include:
- 1. Mutual defence treaty (North Korea is the only country at this level.)
- 2. All weather strategic partnership (Only two countries are in this category – Pakistan and Venezuela.)
- 3. New era comprehensive strategic partnership (Only Russia is in this group.)
Chinese media noted the following statements around the signing of this agreement.
Xi Jinping pointed out that China and Venezuela are good friends who trust each other and are good partners for common development. In recent years, China and Venezuela have both gone through an extraordinary history of development. The two countries have supported each other in the changing international situation and have forged an ‘iron’ friendship. China views the development of relations with Venezuela from a strategic and long-term perspective, firmly supports Venezuela’s efforts to safeguard national sovereignty, national dignity, and social stability, and firmly supports Venezuela’s just cause of opposing external interference. The establishment of an all-weather strategic partnership between China and Venezuela is in line with the common expectations of the two peoples and conforms to the general trend of historical development.
Maduro, who was in China for a state visit, said: ‘First of all, on behalf of the Venezuelan people, I would like to express my best wishes (to you) as well as the ancient China and the People’s Republic of China. The relationship between Venezuela and China can be regarded as a model for the relationship between countries in the Global South. I have personally witnessed that China has become a superpower, a superpower committed to peace and the well-being and cooperation of all mankind. My team and I are very happy to return to China again, and I am willing to work with China to open a glorious new era of Venezuela-China relations.’
This sharp upgrading of the partnership between China and Venezuela should be welcomed by progressive people everywhere. It has the potential for beneficial developments for the people of both countries and beyond.